Will I receive a NY child support reduction if I was laid off or furloughed or had my hours cut due to the Corona Virus?  The answer like so many other questions about laws is “it depends”.  What that really means is that the answer is very fact specific to your individual circumstances.

NY law allows for child support orders entered after October 14, 2010 to be modified upon proof that a party’s income has increased or decreased by 15% or more; or, if at least three years have passed since the entry of the last order; or, if there has been a substantial change in circumstances.

Some of the questions that the Courts will have to wrestle with in each case is an analysis of whether the change in income is temporary or permanent, whether the payor has tried to find replacement employment (which may be impossible while NY is under stay at home orders), are the other family expenses being met utilizing savings/credit or other resources, is the payor receiving unemployment benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Paycheck Protection Program Loan/Grant or other government assistance.

The ages of the children, the parenting schedule, the ability of the other spouse to contribute to expenses, whether lost monies can be made up after workers return or are rehired and any other relevant factors about a person’s income and expenses.

The recommendation that I would make is that if you are out of work or have had your income substantially reduced, as soon as possible, you should file an application for a downward modification; if you cannot do that then I would recommend that you in writing notify the other parent of your intent to do so and perhaps even send a copy of the Petition that you will be filing so there is as much advance notice to the recipient as possible.  Additionally, I would strongly recommend that you try and send some payments rather than send nothing.   People that show good faith and attempt to meet support obligations are viewed much more favorably by the Courts than a person who pays his/her own bills and does not send any child support.